So you've decided to start a social media page dedicated to reviewing craft beer...I congratulate you on becoming an Influencer in this awesome community. Life is better with craft beer and the more people who help spread the word, the stronger we become. Now that you've made this choice, I have a few tips to help you going forward. Not that you need them, but I wouldn't want to miss a chance to help someone out. Keep in mind that I am the third most important person in my own house and that's not nothing. Here are 10 things to help get you started.
1. Pick a name - Whether your doing it solo or are sharing the account with a couple of beer loving pals, your name becomes your identity in real life when you meet up with fellow enthusiasts. Choose a witty take on the various states of inebriation or perhaps add craft beer to some everyday thing and go to it. You don't want to be known as Jimbob21 when you become famous.
2. Decide on a tone - It's important to pick a serious or fun style for your account. Are you a hard core craft head or do you just want to enjoy beer and take a few pictures along the way? The truth is not many people actually read your descriptions, hence the constant "how was it" comments you'll get even if you've dissected your beer to Ciccerone levels. Don't forget to rate the beer out of whatever arbitrary number you decide. That's always a wise move.
3. Pictures matter - The rise of the smart phone is not coincidentally connected to the rise of social media. We are a visual species and if you want to get validation through likes, hearts and shares, you need to step it up. Props, backgrounds and animations are all necessary if you want to catch people's eyes. Or just put some boobs in there, perhaps a dog. Then just wait for the accolades to roll in...not to mention the job offers.
4. Brand - Once you've gained some traction, it's time to start talking branding. Clearly people follow you because your so awesome and know everything about beer so now is the time to hit up those breweries for some free beer. I mean, you are doing all this work promoting them, so clearly they should give you stuff to help you help them.
5. Share - On every available platform, share your work. But not easily, make people click on a link on your Twitter account to go see your Instagram picture. Make sure you share every Untappd login as well, everyone loves to see what badge you got. Don't forget the promise of a blog your going to be starting soon and the vague reference to big news that just never actually happens. Leave 'em wanting more.
6. Follow/Unfollow - Using either the old fashioned method of physically following as many people as possible and then unfollowing them a few days later to boost your own numbers and show just how important you are or paying someone to get you followers, it's all about numbers baby.
7. Swag - Yes, it's a word and you need this stuff. Start an Etsy account and sell it to your followers. Your brand needs to extend beyond the virtual world and what better way than with a logo your cousins' girlfriend, who is a totally bitchin' graphic designer/barista, designed.
8. Pseudo Craft - You are now in a position for the big boys of beer to recognize you. AB-InBev and Molson Coors can see your influence and will want you to help promote their Pseudo Craft. It's time to break out the "It's just beer" argument and get even more free stuff.
9. Quit your job - Now that you've got 20,000 plus followers, paid for and renewable every month, it's time to turn that kind of influence into a job. Everyone says you should work in beer and clearly you should be paid accordingly. No need to wait and work your way up, just demand a corner office and all the free beer you can drink.
10. Influence - Basking in the glory of your new found prominence, you can now bring your considerable influence to the front and push for your word to be the only one that matters. Your Instagram posts move pallets of product every time and a single poor rating can send brewery owners into despair. Attain purple robes and ascend the throne as King/Queen of Beer.
Just follow these simple steps and you too can rise to the top of the crowded social media beer reviewing world.
**That got dark really quickly but sometimes that happens. The time has come to check yourself and make sure you are still doing this for the right reasons. I don't take any of it too seriously and hope you don't either. It should always be about sharing great beer, making new friends and having experiences that create memories to last a lifetime. Want to know how I really feel, check out my post from earlier this year, Share Your Love of Beer...
Like I always say, "Don't be a asshole, drink your beer and try to have a good time."***
Raise your Glass and your standards,
One Glass at a Time.